March 29, 2022
Daily Briefing — March 29, 2022: BEST IN SHOW — Huskies escape Wolfpack in thrilling dogfight
Naz Hillmon closes strong
It’s Tuesday, the barest day of the week. And also the last of these newsletters you’re getting until Friday. Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the NCAA Roundup, and Yesterday’s Recap. Day 133 of college basketball was here, following the first double-overtime game in Elite Eight history, as N.C. State and UConn went back and forth for 50 minutes of high-octane basketball. It turns out Paige Bueckers is very good at basketball, and the Huskies are damn good in Connecticut. Who would’ve thought! (Editor’s note: me.)
Elsewhere, Hailey Van Lith is really good at scoring points. Oh, and Oregon keeps hemorrhaging young talent to the transfer portal.
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New to the portal:
- Sarah Bates, off-ball guard, Georgia Tech
- Dyaisha Fair, point guard, Buffalo — two-time First-Team All-MAC
- Anyssa Jones, point guard, Ohio State. The sophomore was the composite No. 125 player in the class of 2020.
- Olivia Owens, big, Kentucky
- Sydney Parrish, off-ball guard, Oregon. The sophomore was the composite No. 14 player in the class of 2020 — it was a tie, okay — her other finalists during her high school recruitment were Maryland, Tennessee, South Carolina, UCLA, Iowa, and Indiana.
- Maddie Scherr, wing, Oregon. The sophomore was the composite No. 14 player in the class of 2020.
- Kylee Watson, big, Oregon. The sophomore was the composite No. 16 player in the class of 2020; her other finalists during her high school recruitment were Notre Dame and UCLA.
Out of the portal:
- Sarah Ashlee Barker: The wing out of Georgia committed to… Alabama.
Monday, March 28 recap
(All rankings below reflect tournament seeding)
#2 UConn beat #1 N.C. State, 91-87, for its 14th-straight Final Four appearance. The Huskies led by 10 in the mid-second quarter, but every moment of the second half and overtime periods was within two possessions; The Wolfpack were on the wrong end of a few consequential foul calls, such as one that should’ve fouled-out Olivia Nelson-Ododa and given them a lead late in the first overtime period, but they also played sloppily and missed a huge late free-throw and made a baffling timeout call towards the end of the game. The teams combined to shoot 48.3% from the field but only 27.3% from three.
Bridgeport Region Most Outstanding Player point guard Paige Bueckers led UConn with 27 points on 10-for-15 shooting (1-3 3pt., 6-7 FT) — including going 8-for-9 after halftime — and 6-for-7 from the line, six rebounds, and three turnovers in 45 minutes; All-Bridgeport Region combo guard Christyn Williams scored 21 points on 9-for-22 from the field and 2-for-8 from three with five rebounds (three offensive) and no turnovers in 48 minutes; All-Bridgeport Region combo guard Azzi Fudd notched 19 points on 7-for-16 FG (2-5 3pt.), five rebounds, and two assists without a turnover in 49 minutes.
Wing Jakia Brown-Turner led N.C. State with 20 points — shooting 6-for-8 from the field, after starting 0-for-6, including a buzzer-beating three to force double-overtime — eight rebounds, five assists, and two blocks in 48 minutes; All-Bridgeport Region center Elissa Cunane had 18 points on 8-for-13 FG (0-2 3pt.), nine rebounds, two assists, and five turnovers in 48 minutes; combo forward Kayla Jones notched 12 points on 6-for-8 from the field (0-1 3pt.), nine rebounds, two assists, and three blocks against three turnovers and four fouls in 34 minutes.
Joining Bueckers, Williams, Fudd, and Cunane on the all-region team was Notre Dame point guard Olivia Miles.
#1 Louisville beat #3 Michigan, 62-50, for its second Final Four berth in the past four tournaments. The Wolverines led for 44 seconds in the late first quarter and not a single other moment, though they did manage to close within two possessions for most of the fourth. The Cardinals notched 15 steals, part of 22 forced turnovers.
Wichita Region Most Outstanding Player Combo guard Hailey Van Lith led Louisville with 22 points on 9-for-15 shooting (1-2 3pt.), three rebounds, and two steals against four turnovers; All-Wichita Region big wing Emily Engstler struggled to five points on 1-for-9 from the field and 0-for-5 from three, but had 16 rebounds, four assists, and six steals; combo guard Chelsie Hall scored a season-high 15 points on 6-for-10 FG (3-4 3pt.) with two assists and four steals. Big Naz Hillmon may have closed her Michigan career (she said postgame she intends to reflect on it, the rules give her 48 hours to do so) with an 18-point, 11-rebound double-double on 4-for-10 from the field and 10-for-13 from the line with five offensive boards against four turnovers.